An Evening with Two Legends of Snooker
On Monday 20th January I was lucky enough to spend an evening (with around 200 others) in the company of Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, who, along with top ref Michaela Tabb, performed an exhibition at Snookes in Weymouth.
Being involved in the industry and also being a friend of the club owner, Mark Cottingham, I bought a VIP business package. This meant I was able to go into the match room prior to the exhibition and meet the players personally and get my photo taken with them. To be in the room with two players that dominated the world game for the 80’s and 90’s was amazing. 13 World titles between them and I would hate to even guess at how many World ranking titles.
The exhibition was split into two halves with Davis playing Hendry in a best of 7 frame encounter across two mini sessions. It was Davis, the elder statesman of the two, that seemed more relaxed and at home in the environment. Hendry potted an awesome long red to open the first frame but then struggled and allowed Davis to go on and make an 81 break.
In fact Davis made a further three breaks over 50 in the first four frames and ended up leading (winning!) 4-0 at the interval with Hendry’s highest break at this point being a meagre 24.
The players were then joined by a couple of pre-selected amateurs to play some doubles, with evening sponsor Rob Hathway of Site Services Recruitment partnering Davis and Gary Norman playing alongside Hendry.
It was one of the funniest nights I have ever witnessed with Davis particularly on form, his humour is fantastic and he has managed to turn the suggested negativity of him being boring into something he can create jokes around.
To be honest he would fit right in at a comedy night with his snooker anecdotes and general banter with the crowd and his opponents on the night. I cannot recommend going to see him enough.
Hendry on the other hand did relax into the second session and managed a break of 108 after not much earlier on in the night, it was the only century of the night but still shows the class that he has on the table when he can produce it. He did look tired and apparently has been on the road for three weeks so that probably adds to the tension.
Both players, and the lovely and very charming Michaela Tabb, came across great with the fans and happily signed autographs and posed for pictures. They weren’t rushed onto the next ticket holder and stood for as long as necessary to speak at length with fans.
Davis said to me and a friend at the end of the night that they are not stars, “we are just working class people playing a pub game that ended up getting a lot of media coverage.” But in my eyes and the eyes of the 200+ people there to watch them they are absolute legends of the sport.